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Jim Hill High School

Position Paper: Parent Involvement

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Essential Elements of Strong Parent Involvement Program

 

                According to research from the Michigan Department of Education, the earlier in a child’s life that parent involvement begins, the more powerful the effects. Also, this article stated that the most consistent predictors of children’s academic achievement and social adjustment are parent expectations of the child’s academic attainment and satisfaction with their child’s education at school.

            Statistics from the Michigan Department of Education shows that 86% of the general public believes that support from parents is the most important way to improve the schools. Moreover, lack of parental involvement is the biggest problem facing public schools.

More research shows that when parents are involved students have the following: higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates; better school attendance; increased motivation, better self-esteem; lower rates of suspension; decreased use of drugs and alcohol; and fewer instances of violent behavior.

One study proved that family participation in education was twice as predictive of students’ academic success as family socioeconomic status. Also, some of the more intensive programs had effects that were 10 times greater than other factors.

Other studies concluded that the more parents participate in school-in decision-making, as fundraisers and boosters, as volunteers and paraprofessionals, and as home teachers- the better for student achievement.

 

A study conducted by Joan Springle and Lyn Schaefer evaluated the long-term benefits of Head Start programs and Learning to Learn programs in which parents were involved in their childrens’ learning. Children in the Learning to Learn program were making better grades in basic academic subjects and were less likely to have failed a grade in school or have been placed in special education classes.

There are different types of parental involvement. Some parents do not know how to help their children with their education. These parents may become increasingly involved in home learning activities and find opportunities to teach and guide their children.

When schools encourage children to practice reading at home with parents, the children make significant gains in reading achievement compared to those who only practice at school. School initiated activities to help parents change the home environment can have a strong influence on children’s school performance. Parents need specific information on how to help their children.

According to the Michigan Department of Education, families whose children are doing well in school exhibit the following characteristics: establish a daily routine for studying; monitor out-of-school activities such as setting limits on TV watching; model the value of learning, self-discipline and hard work; encourage reading and writing; and encourage children’s progress in school.

Furthermore, parents who read to their children, have books available, take trips, guide TV watching, and provide stimulating experiences contribute to student achievement. The more intensely parents are involved, the more beneficial the achievement effects.

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